Following wins by British riders in the Grades II and Ia individual tests at the Olympic Equestrian Center in Deodoro on Sept. 15, Great Britain has won the overall team championships of the Rio 2016 para-dressage competition.
The team have won every Paralympic team competition since the sport was introduced to the Games in Atlanta 1996 and remain undefeated in European and World championships, too—they’ve earned a total of 18 team titles.
“I’m absolutely thrilled,” said Great Britain’s Chef D’Equipe Sarah Armstrong. “I couldn’t have wished for a better result and the guys have been great.
“When I took on the role in November I took a massive personal risk. They were coming off the back of a home Games and it was a big ask to return this and improve on it but I just knew that the athletes, the horses and the amazing support team that we have, I just knew that we could do it.”
The team, made up of Sophie Christiansen and Anne Dunham (both Grade Ia), Natasha Baker (Grade II), and Sophie Wells (Grade IV) had a combined score of 453.306 to finish 20 points ahead of Germany in silver (433.321) with The Netherlands in bronze (430.353).
“It’s very exciting” said Dunham, who has now won five team titles with the team since starting her Paralympic games career in Atlanta 1996. “The one horror that all of us have at the moment is being on the team that doesn’t actually win the team gold medal. But we won it, and we won it in style.”
The team result rounded off a good day for Great Britain, starting with Baker’s win in the Grad